Ruined by Paula Morris

The story starts out at a steady pace and heads in an unsure direction. Rebecca, a native New Yorker who grew up with only her father is sent to live with her father’s friend, Claudia, in New Orleans while he’s away on business. Claudia is a fortuneteller who makes a living reading tarot cards to tourists on Bourbon Street. She is exactly what you think a tourist trap medium would look like, bangles and all.

In comparison to the life she left behind in the big apple New Orleans feels like another world entirely. Where New York is hip and flashy New Orleans is old fashioned and based on ancestry. Everyone in this new world seems shallow and too centered on tradition. One thing that catches Rebecca’s attention is the cemetery across the street from her Aunt Claudia’s house. It’s full of above ground gravestones where old money teenagers go to drink beer and hang out on the prestigious stone steps of their family tombs.

And if that’s not odd enough the first person that Rebecca befriends is Lisette, a ghost. After a couple small twists some of the characters take a wrong turn down a path driven by fear. Rebecca has a destiny and a family history that can only be described as cursed. At first it was difficult to understand where the story was headed but as it progresses the puzzle pieces began to fit together. Only the picture on the puzzle is still confusing. It’s not until the very end that everything begins to make sense. And though the progression is slow and the romance is dull the well-written novel will keep you interested until the last sentence.

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